BEVERLY HILLS, April 07, (THEWILL) – World football governing body FIFA on Wednesday suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) after a group led by Syed Ashfaq Shah took over the PFF’s control from the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee, which was being led by Haroon Malik, mandated to keep control of the affairs of the Federation.
In an official statement, FIFA said that the bureau of the FIFA Council has suspended the PFF with immediate effect due to what it termed “third-party interference”, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA statutes.
The statement read: “This situation was prompted by the recent hostile takeover of the PFF headquarters in Lahore by a group of protestors and an alleged decision by certain individuals to remove the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee of the PFF led by Haroon Malik and to hand over the leadership of the PFF to Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah,” it said.
The Syed Ashfaq Shah group stormed into the PFF headquarters last month and forced Haroon Malik and the normalisation committee to vacate the office and before taking control of the PFF.
Accordingly, FIFA termed the takeover illegal and issued an ultimatum demanding that the committee should be handed over the PFF control by March 31. At the expiration of this deadline, the world body threatened to suspend the country from its membership forthwith.
In defiance to FIFA’s instructions, Ashfaq group ignored the deadline and rather announced its determination to continue working from the PFF headquarters in Pakistan.
As a consequence of this refusal by the Ashfaq group, the bureau of the Council has decided to suspend the PFF immediately.
FIFA said about the duration of the suspension: “This suspension will only be lifted once FIFA has received confirmation from the normalisation committee of the PFF that the PFF’s premises, accounts, administration and communication channels are again under its full control and it can continue to carry out its mandate without further hindrance.”